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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 20775
Experience:  Attorney with experience in family law.
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my son, maintains an open line for incoming business

Customer Question

my son, maintains an open line for incoming business calls from 10:00AM to 7:00PM EST, which is why I'm trying to handle some of the now necessary things. he needs an attorney's advice - badly. I'll put his complex problem as simply as possible. Wife : Arrested frequently for battery (husband) - soft and hard drug user since preteens - other than for doing the household bills, she neglected care of house and normal wife/mother duties - in 2008 left home, husband and children to be with a man - to avoid being arrested again, in 2009 deserted husband and children and moved to New York - had divorce papers served to husband Monday (Novemeber 29, 2010) - claims to be drug free - coming to Florida Friday (December 3, 2010) with plans to take children out with her - used money intended for bills on drugs - none of her personal family will have anything to do with her. Husband:  Never did any kind of drug - works out of home as technician for electronic company - took over household chores (transporting children various places, cooking, laundry) when obvious that xxx couldn't/wouldn't - loved her and hoped that she would eventually be able to overcome her drug habit - fearing for children he had her arrested when she bacame violent and abusive toward him - eventually found that xxxxxx hadn't paid the mortgage for months - tried negotiating with mortgage company concerning new payments and past due sum - negotiations short of need - notified mortgage company and deserted house - moved to south Florida where psychological support and financial assistance were available - enrolled children in school (all honors classes) - continued to work out of home - was served with divorce papers two days ago. Problem: Divorce papers like so much Greek to him - needs lawyer to interpret them, advise action and defend case, if necessary. Need advice concerning allowing xxxxxxxx to take children while visiting Florida (in two days -Friday). Concerned about their welfare (being with a confirmed drug addict) as well as the fact that she might try to take them back to New York with her.      Possible helps: Hand written by xxxxxxxx for drug counselor at latest `internment' detailing many incriminating things. xxxx's mother, sisters, relatives have all `disowned' her due to her addictions. All fear for children's welfare if left with her. xxx's bank statements forwarded to south Florida address along with all other mail. Statements show considerably more funds than recorded on divorce papers. All three children, when/if examined by child psychologist, will testify about xxxxxx's abuse and how they hated it. xxxxxxxxxx has never talked against xxx to children, just the opposite. He's demanded that they treat her with respect. Where xxx would refuse to even go out with xx (10 years) would go with her reluctantly and x (7) would go, but not be happy because older brother not there.   Please, please let us know what it's best for him to do. Thank you.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear about your son's situation.

If the wife is planning to take the children in two days, the first thing he can do is go to the courthouse and file an emergency motion for temporary custody, outlining the things you have said about the wife and explaining why it would be in the best interests of the children to stay with him instead of her. The judge has authority to say that, until the divorce is final and a full trial can be held, the children can stay with their father.

Since he is their father, and there isn't currently a custody order, he doesn't have any legal obligation to hand them over. However, it's better to go before the judge and have an order, because that will help him if she, for example, tries to pick the children up from school (he can alert the school) or shows up at his house with the police and try to take them.

If she is lying about her income, that is something that he will be able to bring up at mediation and/or the trial, when it happens. That will be a way of showing the judge that she shouldn't get spousal support (and why the judge shouldn't believe her testimony).

As far as the divorce papers, he would file an Answer and Counterclaim, asking the judge to deny her custody, child support, and spousal support, and asking the judge for a divorce. Here are the form and instructions:
http://www.flcourts.org/gen_public/family/forms_rules/903c1.pdf

This site has additional forms and information, including financial affidavits and other documents that he will need to file.
http://www.flcourts.org/gen_public/family/forms_rules/index.shtml

Good luck.

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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq.
Family Lawyer
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Attorney with experience in family law.